Ever since the world went into lockdown, tech launches have become very strange occurrences. What were once buzzing, frantic, real-life events are now more muted affairs that take place entirely online.
Such was the case with Samsung’s ‘Unbox & Discover’, an online event styled along the lines of the brand’s ‘Unpacked’ phone launches – but despite the lack of an audience, there was still a palpable energy and excitement among those presenting, even though all they had was a greenscreen for company.
Back in January, the Korean manufacturer teased its 2021 releases at CES 2021, this year’s all-online edition of the tech expo, including the launch date of the now-released Samsung Galaxy S21. Now in this follow-up online event, a whole lot more has been shared – and if there’s one thing we can confirm, it’s that Samsung has some very exciting new releases in store.
Samsung pitched the online event as one about ‘unveiling out-of-the-box innovations for your changing lifestyles, tastes, and needs’ and teased it in a truly peculiar promotional video. Sales talk notwithstanding, the brand seems genuinely committed to releasing products this year that are tailored towards our needs in a post-Covid world as we all continue to strive towards a new normal, or as Samsung is calling it, a ‘better normal’.
Here’s everything we learned from Samsung’s Unbox & Discover event – read on to find more.
Samsung Unbox & Discover: what we learned
Samsung is now making products for a world recovering from Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic may have begun over a year ago – but that’s a short amount of time for a manufacturer to pivot its entire production strategy. Yet that seems to be what Samsung has done. JH Han, the Visual Display Business President, acknowledged that we now live entirely different lives since the coronavirus outbreak: more distanced, more compromised, and with everyone facing their own particular challenges. There was a lot of talk about the individual tastes and needs of consumers.
Samsung’s Lifestyle TV range is getting some additions
As with a lot of tech events, there was a spot of back-slapping, as Senior Vice President James Fishler acknowledged Samsung’s 15-year reign as the world’s leading manufacturer on the TV market. Samsung’s Marketing VP Grace Dolan talk us through changes in the company’s high-end Lifestyle televisions.
There’s the Samsung Frame, which is designed to sit like an art print on the wall, and whose ultra-slim bezel is getting even slimmer: a mere 29mm. You’ll be able to customise said bezel with a variety of brand and third-party options – Samsung is all-too-aware many buyers want their TV to match their decor. In one exciting 2021 development, you can even add modular shelving to the TV’s sides, turning into something far more practical.
The Samsung Serif, a free-standing unit that sits on slim legs, is far more of a punchy statement. This one has been developed with the spike in families watching TV together in mind. The fact you can stream from your phone to the Serif is no big deal, but the fact that it will now rotate a full 180 degrees to match your phone’s dimensions very much is a big deal. There’s no better way to watch cat videos, after all.
But what got us really excited was the announcement of the Samsung Terrace – the company’s first outdoor television. Yes, once again, Samsung has been thinking of how much more time households are spending in their gardens. The Terrace will be IP55-grade resistant to water and dust, and in the summer, a 75-inch model designed to be viewed under direct sunshine will be unveiled.
2021 is the year of the Mini-LED TV
Mini-LED technology is currently being developed by several big TV manufacturers, including LG and Sony. At Samsung, this tech has been woven into the company’s illustrious line of QLED televisions – the latest generation is called the Neo-QLED line, led by the flagship Samsung QN90A. And you can bet these are going to be some seriously astounding televisions. Mini-LEDs are, unbelievably, one-fortieth the size of standard LED lights and help contribute to a picture (8K, incidentally) that minimise blurring and picture blurring.
The Neo-QLED line is powered by Samsung’s Neo Quantum Processor, an AI unit that features ’16 multi-neural networks’. Do we know what this means? Well, not exactly. But it sure as hell sounds impressive – and it figures into a wider backdrop of TV makers making vast strides in AI picture tech.
The trend for hybrid devices continues
We don’t know how much working from home the personnel at Samsung have been doing in the last year, but they’re clearly sensitive to the needs of those who have been – and are struggling with their tasks. That’s why the company has developed the Smart Monitor – a hybrid, so-called ‘do-it-all screen’ that is meant to help you navigate the blurred lines between work and play.
It’s a wireless monitor that doubles as a screen for your work tasks and a TV for when you need to unwind. Better yet, it’s a touchscreen that you can set up as a workboard that syncs with other devices – the best substitute for a meeting-room whiteboard whilst we all continue to work separately.
Samsung will lead the way with gaming TVs
According to Dolan, an incredible 4 out of 5 Samsung TV owners say they are also into gaming. So it’s little wonder that the company has high-quality gaming in mind with its new releases this year. With the new Neo-QLED TVs released this year, a ‘Game Bar’ has been added to the smart platform. This will transform the TV’s aspect ratio to 21:9 or even ultra-wide 32:9 – perfect for gaming.
As you can see, there’s plenty of exciting developments on the way from Samsung in 2021. As more information comes forward, we’ll keep you updated with all the latest information. If you’re thinking of upgrading your television, you can read our in-depth which TV to buy guide.
Thinking of buying a new television? Make sure you read our comprehensive which TV to buy guide first.